Friday, February 14, 2014
On this Friday which is Valentine's Day the week has come to an end Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. —John 15:13 During the rehearsal for my brother’s wedding ceremony, my husband snapped a picture of the bride and groom as they faced each other in front of the pastor. When we looked at the photograph later, we noticed that the camera’s flash had illuminated a metal cross in the background, which appeared as a glowing image above the couple. The photograph reminded me that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church as shown on the cross. When the Bible instructs husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:25), God compares that kind of faithful, selfless affection to Christ’s love for His followers. Because Christ sacrificed His life for the sake of love, we are all to love each other (1 John 4:10-11). He died in our place, so that our sin would not keep us separate from God for eternity. He lived out His words to the disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). Many of us suffer from the pain of abandonment, rejection, and betrayal. Despite all of this, through Christ we can understand the sacrificial, compassionate, and enduring nature of true love. Today, remember that you are loved by God. Jesus said so with His life. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt Love divine, so great and wondrous, Deep and mighty, pure, sublime! Coming from the heart of Jesus— Just the same through tests of time. —Blom Nothing speaks more clearly of God’s love than the cross of Jesus. Bible in a year: Leviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26 Insight In the ancient Roman hierarchy, to be a “friend of Caesar” meant having a close relationship with the highest seat of power. Such “friends” knew the emperor so well that they actually opened his mail and carried on his correspondence. They also showed a willingness to serve the emperor as he directed. So it is for the follower of Christ today. The Lord Jesus has called us “friends” (John 15:15). He has let us in on His intimacy with His Father and wants us to share His message of love with others. Certainly, to be the friend of Jesus is to be in relationship with the highest seat of power (Phil. 2:5-11).